Did Food Delivery Really Deliver during Covid-19? – Interview

Did Food Delivery Really Deliver during Covid-19? – Interview

Image by Lala Irène Randrianasolo from Pixabay

Takeout and delivery services have become a mainstay during the Covid-19 pandemic, but according to research firm Invisibly, it’s not nearly as ubiquitous as it seems. Invisibly used its Realtime Research tool to survey 1253 Americans to determine some of their basic takeout and delivery habits.

Cynthia: Tell us about your recent take-out and delivery survey!

Dr. Don Vaughn Ph.D.:  “Takeout and delivery services have become a mainstay of our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic but according to our research, it’s not nearly as ubiquitous as it seems. Invisibly used our Realtime Research tool to survey 1253 Americans to determine some of their basic takeout and delivery habits.”

Cynthia: Did the survey surprise you in any way?  

Dr. Don Vaughn Ph.D.:  “One thing that was surprising was just how many people actually didn’t have the option to work from home at their jobs. There may be a misconception about just how common it is for people to be working from home right now despite the record number of people currently doing so. When they did order takeout or delivery, they did so more than just occasionally indicating again that they had the need (work from home) and the means (higher income) to indulge in food delivery in ways that those who only had the one consideration may not have had.”
Here are the surprising things Invisibly learned:
  • Only 44% ordered takeout or delivery during the past 12 months
  • Only 43% had the ability to work from home during the pandemic.
  • 18-24 year old the most prolific, accounting for 59% of takeout or delivery orders
  • 62% of orders were from people earning between $60k-$90k a year, but surprisingly, a whopping 54% of orders were from people with income between $0-$30k a year.
  • WFH was not a major factor in whether people ordered takeout.

Cynthia: What are some of the interesting findings from the survey?

Dr. Don Vaughn Ph.D:

-The number of people who haven’t used takeout services over the last year closely mirrors the number of people who say that they do not have the option to work from home (57%).
– Those who have the option to work from home which are predominantly office workers, are also the most likely to have ordered takeout during the pandemic.
-There appears to be a correlation between household income and takeout/delivery
-18-24 year-olds are most likely to have used takeout or delivery services during the pandemic (59%). Some 45% of both 25-34 year-olds and 35-44 year-olds say the same

Cynthia: Do you think this survey projects food delivery changes for the rest of 2021 and beyond?

Dr. Don Vaughn Ph.D.:  “It’s hard to say if there will be permanent changes. The trends we identified in our survey come from circumstances that the pandemic provided – such as people who work from home being more likely to order home delivery. If companies decide to get rid of work from home as an option for their employees after the pandemic then there may be less people ordering home delivery. However, if more companies implement work from home options, there may be more food delivery. The pandemic has certainly created new circumstances that have affected the food delivery industry – but the future of the industry depends on if these circumstances expand or contract.”

Cynthia: Where can we learn more and also about the survey?   

Dr. Don Vaughn Ph.D.:  To learn more insights read the full report.

Despite conventional wisdom, it appears that the use of takeout and delivery services wasn’t as ubiquitous as previously believed. In fact, it is clearly linked in ways to the kind of work people do and their income levels.

For instance, those who have the option to work from home which is predominantly office workers, are also the most likely to have ordered takeout during the pandemic. Similarly, those in some higher income brackets were also more likely, suggesting that they had the disposable income to do so. Putting the two together paints an interesting correlative picture of who exactly is utilizing these services.

Invisibly Realtime Research™ polling differs from traditional polling or online surveys and have proven to be extremely accurate at predicting behavior. In fact, Invisibly came the closest in accurately predicting the Presidential election results: FiveThirtyEight polls were off by 38 electoral votes. Invisibly was only off by 4 electoral votes.
More About Dr. Don Vaughn Ph.D
Dr. Don Vaughn is an American neuroscientist, futurist, and communicator. Since graduating from Stanford, over a million people have viewed his TEDx talk, and he has been featured on ABC, ESPN, and the X-Games. Dr. Vaughn has written about his research for a variety of outlets including TIME magazine and The Economist. He leverages his understanding of the brain to predict how people will use—and be used by—technology. As Head of Product at Invisibly, he is envisioning a better future between people and technology, by enabling people to take back control of their personal data.
*Graphs and charts courtesy of Invisibly Realtime Research™

Cynthia Tait

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